Winter Maintenance: Preventing Salt Damage to Trees and Shrubs

Salt is an ingredient that is very useful for melting snow and ice, especially during cold winters in the tri-state area. However, if your trees, shrubs, and landscapes aren’t properly protected, salt and other substances can cause temporary or permanent damage to your precious greens.

The Problem

When applied haphazardly, salt can be absorbed by a plants root structure, causing dehydration and plant stress. This damage doesn’t just stop with the salt that you use on your walkway and driveway. When vehicles spray salts on shrubs, plants and other greens, this can create damage to the leaves, buds and small twigs that make up the plants’ structure. Such damage effects the plants’ cold hardiness, which essentially makes them more susceptible to freeze damage.

The Solution

So what options do you have to keep your walkways safe and your precious greens  winter-protected?  There are many alternatives to ice-melting products, such as sand or calcium magnesium acetate (CMA), a salt-free melting agent made from limestone and acetic acid. This material causes minimal damage to plants and lawns. Also, consider the location and type of plantings for winter:

Where should my plantings live?

Be mindful of areas where snowplows might pile up snow and avoid planting in those spaces. Taking these steps will help minimize exposure to salt and keep your plantings healthier.

What types of plants should I chose?

If it’s not possible to install plantings where they will avoid salt, de-icing fluids or soils with heavy deposits of sodium chloride, choose plants that can better tolerate those types of conditions.

Before taking a trip to the hardware store and purchasing winter materials, call the experts at Emerald and speak with an Arborist. Based on the terrain of your landscape, an expert can tell you the best materials to help you walkways stay safe, while preventing them from doing damage to your trees, shrubs and landscapes.

Why Plant Health Care is a Priority, Year-Round

Plant health care throughout New York City, Westchester County and Fairfield County can be a tricky thing. Drastic weather changes, a variety of plant life, the timing and application of plant health care treatments may be difficult for busy homeowners to keep up with. At Emerald, our highly trained technicians visit properties several times a year and scout landscapes for signs of insect and disease activity. By applying controlled methods to areas of landscape requiring intervention, our clients are able to enjoy healthy landscapes year-round.

As we approach 2021, consider adding a Emerald’s Plant Health Care (PHC) Program to your set of new year’s resolutions. Using our holistic approach, we will ensure your landscape continues to thrive with proper, timely treatments. Here are a few examples of why Emeralds’ Plant Health Care team is busy all year:

Winter Care

If you invest in you property, you probably want to ensure both your home and landscape will weather through winter unscathed. Snow, ice, wind and cold temperatures can cause damage to your trees, shrubs and property.

Why Plant Health Care: our Arborists and technicians will ensure your property is winter-ready. PHC clients receive several preventative property walk-throughs to identify broken limbs and remove troubled areas before a branch falls on your property. Through preservation pruning, experts remove limbs before they become a liability, including hazards you may not be able to identify or reach.

Spring Care

While we begin to see the last signs of frost in the spring, this is a very important time to prepare for warmer, active months. Our Arborists can ensure your property remains fortified for any potential threats, including pests, lack of nutrition and much more.

Why Plant Health Care: Emerald checks for pest and insect activity, and if necessary, will apply environmentally responsible treatments. Fertilization services during this time ensure that dormant trees receive ample nutrients to help kick-start growth as we head into the summer months.

Summer Care

Hot periods and long days means that trees and shrubs need ample watering. Better hydration and summer care creates healthier, stronger, pest-resistant trees and shrubs.

Why Plant Health Care: our clients, their families, and pets can enjoy spending more time outside with the peace of mind knowing their landscapes are safely maintained. Emerald Arborists take the guess work out of our clients hands, such as knowing which custom blend & deep root fertilization to apply, mulching, pest control and so much more.

Prior to leaves exhibiting yellowing, shriveling, dropping or other symptoms, an arborist can help inspect and treat trees to prevent further damage from insects and summer storms.

Fall Care

As cooler, crisper temperatures return to our area, untreated problems could turn into liabilities during hurricane and winter storm season.

Why Plant Health Care: PHC programs ensure that trees and shrubs are pruned and protected from seasonal storms, which have increased in the tri-state area over the past few years. Our technicians focus pruning as well as many other treatments during this time, because this is when a trees’ branching structure is most visible. Pruning, as well as late-season pest control help our clients’ trees and shrubs grow healthier, heartier blooms in the spring. Pruning during the fall prevents diseases from spreading, keeping surrounding plants healthy and happy.

As a new year approaches, we hope you will consider signing up for our PHC Program if you haven’t done so already. Not only are our custom-made programs a great investment for the health and safety of your home, but plant health care services help improve your neighborhood for years to come.